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Sound like anyone you know of?

So, yesterday I started watching some lectures I got from the Learning Company. The course is called An Introduction to Formal Logic.The first lecture is an introduction to the course, and the lecturer spends the time disabusing his students of any notion that man is an essentially rational creature. In all sorts of ways we have tendencies to behave irrationally. It often takes some effort to behave rationally. The tendency toward groupthink, for example, is quite strong. We often actually talk ourselves into believing things we know to be untrue, provided the members of a group of which we are a part believe it. Sound like any group of people the New York Times can’t get enough of? (See my previous post.)

But I digress.

Among the various logical fallacies into which many of us fall, one sort of struck me as pertinent today. Here’s the description from the course book:

The Dunning-Kruger effect is the name given to the fact that the less people know about an area or how to do something, the more likely they are to overestimate their ability to do it or understand it. The more ignorant we are, the more brazen we are in our belief about our abilities and knowledge.

Sound like any very stable geniuses you know of? If not, here’s a hint:

President-elect Donald Trump said he doesn’t need intelligence briefings every day because he is “a smart person” and doesn’t “have to be told the same thing in the same words” every day.

In an interview on Fox News that was taped Saturday and aired Sunday, he was asked about reports that he is getting the presidential daily intelligence briefing only about once a week rather than every day.

“I get it when I need it,” Trump said. “These are very good people that are giving me the briefings … You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years … I don’t need that. But I do say, ‘If something should change, let us know.'”

The above was somewhat randomly selected, but you get the picture.

I think the course was recorded long before the Age of the VSG, as it’s hard to believe there wouldn’t at least have been a veiled reference to him otherwise. How could any rational person withstand the temptation?

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